On This Day
1812 – Massachusetts governor Elbridge Gerry is accused of “gerrymandering” for the first time.
Gerrymandering (/ˈdʒɛrimændərɪŋ/) is a practice intended to establish an unfair political advantage for a particular party or group by manipulating district boundaries, which is most commonly used in first-past-the-post electoral systems.
Two principal tactics are used in gerrymandering: “cracking” (i.e. diluting the voting power of the opposing party’s supporters across many districts) and “packing” (concentrating the opposing party’s voting power in one district to reduce their voting power in other districts). The top-left diagram in the graphic is a form of cracking where the majority party uses its superior numbers to guarantee the minority party never attains a majority in any district.
In addition to its use achieving desired electoral results for a particular party, gerrymandering may be used to help or hinder a particular demographic, such as a political, ethnic, racial, linguistic, religious, or class group, such as in Northern Ireland where boundaries were constructed to guarantee Protestant Unionist majorities. Gerrymandering can also be used to protect incumbents. Wayne Dawkins describes it as politicians picking their voters instead of voters picking their politicians; Thomas Hofeller, the Redistricting Chair of the Republican National Committee, stated “Redistricting is like an election in reverse. It’s a great event. Usually the voters get to pick the politicians. In redistricting, the politicians get to pick the voters.” in reference to the 2000 Census.
The term gerrymandering is named after American politician Elbridge Gerry (pronounced with a hard “g”; “Gherry”, Vice President of the United States at the time of his death, who, as Governor of Massachusetts in 1812, signed a bill that created a partisan district in the Boston area that was compared to the shape of a mythological salamander. The term has negative connotations and gerrymandering is almost always considered a corruption of the democratic process. The resulting district is known as a gerrymander (/ˈdʒɛriˌmændər, ˈɡɛri-/). The word is also a verb for the process.
Born On This Day
1900 – Ellen Broe, Danish nurse, pioneer in nursing education (d. 1994)
Ellen Johanne Broe (1900–1994) was a Danish nurse who spent several decades working and seeking education abroad before returning to Denmark and helping to establish educational and training initiatives in Denmark. She helped draft minimum curriculum requirements for nursing students, as well as continuing education guidelines. She was active in the International Council of Nurses (ICN) and sought to find ways to bring nursing education to developing areas most in need of trained nursing staff. She received the Florence Nightingale Medal in 1961 for her contributions to nursing excellence.
NSFW. Worth listening to!
Francis Ngannou (born 5 September 1986) is a Cameroonian-French professional mixed martial artist competing in the Heavyweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
He is known for being the hardest recorded puncher in UFC history and holds knockout victories over Alistair Overeem, Cain Velasquez, Junior Dos Santos and Andrei Arlovski. As of January 25, 2021, he is #13 in the UFC men’s pound-for-pound rankings and as of 31 August 2020 #1 in the UFC heavyweight rankings. 
Ngannou was born and raised in the village of Batié, Cameroon. He lived in poverty and had little formal education growing up. Ngannou’s parents divorced when he was six years old, and he was sent to live with his aunt. At 10 years old, Ngannou started working in a sand quarry in Batié because of a lack of funds. As a youngster, he was approached by several gangs in his village to join them. However, Ngannou refused and instead decided to use his father’s negative reputation as a street fighter as motivation to do something positive and pursue boxing.
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